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Naan, Plain 1 - Leavened Flat Bread

Nan Sadi 1

Mamta Gupta
Naan is a popular Indian bread that is traditionally made in a hot Tandoor, an Indian clay oven
(see pictures below). A Tandoor cooks food at very high temperature, which is impossible to
achieve in a domestic oven. However, if you cook naans on maximum (300C in mine) or
under a preheated grill, or on a pre-heated, heavy bottomed pan/tava, the results are pretty good.
I tend to make them on a frying pan these days, not using the oven at all. I find that the pan
cooked Naan are the softest.
Naans can also be used with non-Indian meals too, with soups or dips. You can either cut up a
large naan into strips or make very small ones. You can also use a Naan for a quick Pizza. Left
over/surplus naan dough makes a pretty good bread loaf too. Makes approximately 16.
Dont be put off by long recipe, I have tried to describe it step by step, to make it easier
Recipe revised January 2013, please read it fully before starting.
Ingredients
For the dough
3 cups or 375-400 gm. plain white flour or maida.
1 cup or 125-130 gm. strong flour (bread flour). If you dont have strong flour,
use all plain flour/maida.
1/2 cup or 125 ml. active natural yoghurt (dahi)
Just over 1 cup or 250 ml. hand warm water (not hot) *
(Total liquid 375 ml. approximately. Make a little extra, because different flours
need slightly different amounts of water)
3-4 tbsp. ghee or cooking oil (olive oil is good)
1 tsp. salt
1 1/2 tsp. sugar*
1 1/2 tsp. or one 7 gm. sachet of Instant Active dry yeast*, roughly 1/2 tsp. per
cup of flour. Use less yeast if you have more time for the dough to rise naturally.
Make sure that the packet is fresh. Once it is opened, the leftover yeast will not
last

For cooking
1/2 cup flour for dusting during rolling out
1 tbsp. ghee (optional)
2 tbsp. poppy seeds (khus-khus) or sesame seeds (til) or nigella seeds
(kalonji/kalaunji)
*Instant Active Dry Yeast, does not require to be activated/proofed, it can be
added directly to the flour.
*Active Dry Yeast has to be activated.

Instructions
1. The Dough; Mix yoghurt, water, oil, sugar, 2 tbsp. flour (from measured
amount) and yeast in a jug Mix/stir. Do not worry about lumps, they will
disappear soon. Cover & keep aside at room temperature until frothy,
approximately 15 minutes. When using Instant, Active Yeast, you can
skip this step, yeast can be added directly to the flour.
2. Sift flour and salt in a bowl. Make a well in the centre of the flour. Stir the
bubbling liquid mix, adding a little at a time to the flour and bring the dough
together. Use enough liquid to make a soft and pliable dough. Don't be afraid to
add a little more or a little less water than a bread recipe states. 65-70% liquid to
flour ratio is generally required. The dough must be soft to get soft naans, as
slack as you can handle. You dont need to knead the dough too much, just bring
it together. Cover with a clean hand towel and leave for 10 minutes. Then give 3
quick kneads at 10 minutes interval, as below.
3. Turn the dough out onto an oiled surface. Stretch and flatten it out in both
horizontal and vertical directions, using the heel of your oiled hand. Fold over
from both directions to the centre, one edge overlapping the other. Now turn the
dough over by 90 degrees and stretch it out again in both directions. Fold it again
towards the centre. Cover and leave it for 10 minutes.
4. Repeat this process two more times at 10 minute intervals.
5. Now cover and leave for 45- minutes to an hour or until it doubles in size.
6. Knock the dough down a little. Keep it covered. It is now ready to make naans.
7. Rolling out a Naan; Break off one 2 to 2 1/2 inch size piece of dough and roll it
into a ball. You may use a little dusting flour to help.
8. Dust and roll it out into a tear drop shape (approximately 20-22 cm or 8-9 inches
in length). Traditionally, naans are tear shaped, with one end narrower than the
other. This can be achieved by rolling down one end more than other. Round
naans are fine too. If you are cooking them in an oven, roll out as many as will fit

on your oven tray in one go. Roll them out quite thin, because they rise during
cooking.
9. Sprinkle a few Nigella or sesame or poppy seeds on top. Press them in gently
with a rolling pin.
10 Cooking; Whatever the method you use, naans need to cook quickly. Slow
. cooking makes them leathery.
11 Cooking naans on a griddle or a heavy bottomed pan or tava; Place 1-2
. naans on a pre-heated griddle/tava/pan. When a few blisters appear, turn over.
After about 30-40 seconds, turn over again and gently coax them to balloon up
by pressing with a kitchen towel all over. Cook until a few blisters appear on the
other side too. See picture. You can turn them over a couple times to get even
cooking.
12
.
13 Cooking under a HOT grill; Preheat grill, leaving the tray under it to heat it
. well.
14 Place naans on the hot tray and return it quickly under the grill. They will puff up
. within minutes.
15 Once a few brown blisters appear, turn the over and return under the grill for the
. other surface to cook. When ready, they will have a few brown blisters scattered
on each surface.
16 Cooking in a pre-heated oven; Heat oven/grill to maximum, mine heats to
. 300C. Remember, a Tandoor is very, very hot! Leave the tray inside the oven so
it is really hot. Naans placed on a cold tray will stick and you will get
stiff/hard/leathery naans!
17 Place 3-4 naans at a time, as many as will fit on your on the pre-heated tray. Do
. this quickly; you dont want the tray to cool down. Place the tray back in the
oven. You can roll out the next batch of naans while the previous batch is baking.
After a few seconds, the naans will puff up. When they get a few brown blisters
all over, check the underside as well and turn over if necessary. Take them out
and either serve hot or keep them wrapped in a towel until served.
18
.
19 Cooking naans in a Tandoor Indian Oven; Heat Tandoor according to your
. instructions.
20 Traditionally they are made by slapping the oiled dough ball between the palms,
. while rotating and stretching it at the same time. See last picture. No rolling pin is

used. Roll out You can roll out naans as above.


21 Place the naan on a thick roll of cloth and pull one end down to give it a
. traditional, tear drop shape.
22
Slap it to the side of the tandoor wall and let it cook until it blisters.
.
23 Take it off using a long, steel rod. It helps to have 2 rods, so you can catch the
. naan between the two and take it out without dropping it into the fire! Take care
not to burn your hand.
24
Whether you brush it with ghee or not, is your personal choice. I dont.
.
25
Serve hot, with a curry/dal of choice.
.
26
Variations;
.
27 Topping; Before cooking, you can sprinkle the top of the naan with a few 1)
. chopped, blanched almonds or 2) cumin seeds or 3) fennel seeds or 4) chopped
green chillies or 5) broken up red chillies or 6) grated/chopped garlic and a drizzle
of ghee or olive oil 7) chopped coriander leaves. Topping should be gently
pressed into the naan with a rolling pin.
28 Stuffings; Keema Nan, 2) Peshawari Nan, 3) Shredded tandoori or other
. cooked/leftover chicken. Add extra spices to the chicken, because it will be inside
un-spiced bread. 4) A teaspoon of cooked and spiced spinach/fenugreek leaves.
Squeeze and dry the water out completely before stuffing. 5) Spiced mashed
potatoes. See Aloo Paratha recipe. 6) Grated paneer cheese, mixed with spices.
29 Additions to the dough; 1) Chopped mint or 2) a mix of chopped onions, green
. chillies, ginger, garlic or 3) other herbs of choice.

Notes
I have made a few changes to this recipe as kindly suggested by the well-known
master baker Dan Lepard. My thanks to you Dan-Mamta. 1. I have reduced the
amount of yeast, too much yeast can overwork the dough and cause it to
become heavy. 2. I have added a little strong flour (bread flour), which gives
more manageable dough. 3. He also suggested I increase the water, which
makes the dough lighter, as it expands in the heat and the steam bubbles add to
the aeration in the crumb. 4. If you add milk to the liquid, boil the milk and cool
it before using it to make dough because raw milk can make dough tough.
Boiling and cooling the milk destroys a dairy protein called casein and makes the
bread much lighter. Using dried milk has the same effect as it has been cooked

first. 5. The shape of a Tandoor probably keeps the heat moist and slows the
moisture loss from the dough as it is baked upright stuck on the oven wall (so the
steam will travel through the length of the dough, rather than flat. I bake mine in
a wok with a lid, sat over a moderate heat on the hob, and this (I think) helps
produce a very light naan.
Kalonji (nigella/onion seeds), can be spelled as Kalowunji on some packets.
Note from reader Surfing69; Different flours will have different adsorption
characteristics and will require more or less water. For a particular recipe the
variation in water will probably vary +/- 2 to 4 parts to every 100 parts flour. High
gluten flours normally require more water as the proteins would need more water
to fully hydrate. Also the optimum amount of water to flour sits on a knife edge.
Some European bakers deliberately use more water in order to produce more of a
random internal structure.

This naan retains its soft texture, after several hours of cooking. Adding garlic
powder, gives a fantastic aroma to the naan.I assure ,you that this recipe will
quench your thirst for restaurant style naans.
Ingredients:
1.All purpose flour / Maida - 2 cups
2.Yogurt - 1 cup
3.Yeast
- 2 tsp (I used rapid rise yeast)
4.Sugar - 1 tbsp
5.Ghee
- 2 tbsp
6.Garlic powder - 1 tbsp
7.Salt - 1/2 tsp
8.Oil
- for greasing
* Bring yogurt to room temperature. That is keep yogurt on the kitchen counter for
at least 2 hours. This step is very much needed, because when yeast is added, it
won't work well with chilled yogurt. This will result in hard and chewy naans. The
amount of yogurt needed in this recipe is a must. This will help us to obtain soft and
fluffy naans.
* Take yeast in a cup of warm water and let it dissolve well and form a foamy liquid.
The water should be warm not hot. If not yeast will die in that hot water. If you are
using rapid rise yeast like me, then you can directly add the yeast to the flour,
instead of dissolving in water .Melt ghee and keep it aside. Adding ghee will make
the naan soft ,for long .We have to just heat it before serving.
* Take a mixing bowl,add flour,sugar ,salt,yogurt,melted ghee and yeast into it.Now
knead the dough well.Since we had added yogurt,the dough will be bit sticky and
soft.Grease another bowl with oil
and place the dough for rising in a warm place.Cover it with a cling wrap or a damp
cloth.I kept my dough in the oven ,with just the light on.Let it rise at least for half an
hour or until, it doubles in its size.
* Pre heat the oven to the maximum temperature. Place a pan or cookie sheet
inside the oven and pre heat it .This is the trick, which makes the oven like a
tandoor. So the cookie tray will be very hot ,when we place our naans. This helps us
in fluffy naans, also we have to have a close watch on the naan, as it may blacken
quickly.
* Now take the dough on a floured surface and punch down the air. Divide it into
equal sized balls .Let it rise again for at least 20 mins. Now roll each ball into a
medium sized naan on a floured surface. We can either roll it like a triangle or
oblong shaped ones. We can also shape them into one big round naan and can
divide it into pieces. Make medium sized naans, not so thin, not so thick.
* Now brush the garlic butter on the naan liberally. At this stage, the garlic pods
may come out of the naan. So gently press the minced garlic into the naan. Since

we are brushing with butter, before cooking, this helps us in getting beautiful brown
spots on the naan. Slightly sprinkle finely chopped cilantro. Cover with a damp cloth
and let it rise for 5 to 10 minutes. Now place the naan into the heated cookie tray.
* Cook the naan for 3 minutes or until we see the naan bubbling as in the picture. At
this point, when we move the naan, it should move freely, as it has cooked well. If it
doesn't move , then the naan is not cooked , so leave it for 1 more minute.

I've got several ways of making naans and this one is my easiest one. The naans turn out really
soft and delicious and they are made on the tawa/stove top...no hassle of baking or using a stone
oven/tandoor.
Ingredients
2
cups
1
tsp.

tsp.
1
1
3

cup
melted butter for brushing

all-purpose
instant
baking
tsp.
tsp.
tbsp.
cup
milk

flour/maida
yeast
powder
salt
sugar
oil
yoghurt
(warm)

Instructions
Mix the dry ingredients, make a hole in the center and add the oil and yoghurt. Then gradually
add the warm milk a little at a time and knead to form a very soft dough, but not sticky. Knead
well and then apply a light layer of oil and cover, then set aside for an hour or two.
Once it's risen, knock the dough down and divide into 6 balls of equal size. Roll each one out and
place on a floured surface. You can make it as thick or as thin as you like, It will swell up a bit
during cooking so I normally roll it out to a bit more than quarter inch thickness.
Heat the tava, then place a naan on it and cover with a lid. Let it cook for 2-3 mins on medium to
low heat, then uncover and check. If it has started forming bubbles, gently check the bottom and
if it has started browning, flip it over and let it cook on the other side as well. You can cover it
again if you like, it helps conserve moisture in the naan so that the result is extra soft.
Once browned to your satisfaction, remove, brush with some melted butter and place in a hotpot
or cover with a cloth to keep warm until serving.

Tortillas:
8 ounces all-purpose flour (about 1 3/4 cup), more as needed
3/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 cup vegetable shortening
1/2 cup hot water (about 105 degrees F.)
http://foodwishes.blogspot.com/2011/03/fresh-homemade-flour-tortillas-inno.html

Gordita bread
We use a rather unusual method to make this bread: boiling water is added to the flour, "cooking"
the starch and making the resultant dough soft and easy to roll out. In addition, pre-cooking the
starch this way eliminates any possibility of a "starchy" taste in the final bread; all in all, we find
these wrap-like rounds better tasting than conventional flour tortillas or other wraps. Texturewise, they're more like a soft pita bread than a tortilla, so if you like the bread in your sandwich
to be a substantial part of the whole, this is a good recipe for your files.

Wrap bread

361g King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour

283g boiling water

43g potato flour OR 5/8 ounces potato buds or flakes

1 1/4 teaspoons salt

25g vegetable oil

1 teaspoon instant yeast

Directions
1) To make the bread: Place 2 cups of the flour into a bowl or the bucket of a bread machine.
Pour the boiling water over the flour, and stir till smooth. Cover the bowl or bucket and set the

mixture aside for 30 minutes.

2) In a separate bowl, whisk together the potato flour (or flakes or buds) and the remaining 1 cup
of flour with the salt, oil and yeast.

3) Add this to the cooled flour/water mixture, stir, then knead for several minutes (by hand,
mixer or bread machine) to form a soft dough. Note: You can allow the dough to go through the
entire kneading cycle(s) in the bread machine, but it's not necessary; about a 5-minute knead in
the machine, once it gets up to full kneading speed, is fine. The dough should form a ball, but
will remain somewhat sticky. Add additional flour only if necessary; if kneading by hand, keep
your hands and work surface lightly oiled.

4) Let the dough rise, covered, for 1 hour.

5) Divide the dough into 8 pieces (each about the size of a handball, around 3 ounces), cover,
and let rest for 15 to 30 minutes.

6) Roll each piece into a 7"- to 8"-circle, and dry-fry them (fry without oil) over medium heat
(about 325F in an electric frying pan or on an electric griddle) for about 1 minute per side, until
they're puffed and flecked with brown spots. Adjust the heat if they seem to be cooking either
too quickly, or too slowly; cooking too quickly means they may be raw in the center, while too
slowly will dry them out.

7) Transfer the cooked breads to a rack, stacking them to keep them soft. Serve immediately, or
cool completely before storing in a plastic bag. Note: If you plan on making these into folded
sandwiches, gently fold them in half when you take them off the griddle, rather than laying them
flat. That way, they'll retain that folded shape as they cool, and will be easier to make into
sandwiches.

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